Many times we find ourselves trying to do God’s work without God’s resources. We struggle and persevere through obstacles – good traits. But sometimes we struggle needlessly. Corrie ten Boom, on one of her many journeys for God, visited a missionary couple who seemed in a perpetual struggle. As soon as one challenge ended, another began. She found them beaten down from discouragement.
Corrie prayed with the missionaries and encouraged them in their work for Christ. She also gave them this advice – you have given all but you haven’t taken all. This hard-working couple had dedicated their lives to God’s work but they hadn’t taken from Him the resources they needed to complete the work.
Jesus instructed His disciples not to run off to foreign fields with the good news about His death and resurrection but to wait in Jerusalem until they had received power for the task.
You shall receive power (ability, efficiency and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth. (Acts 1:8 AMP)
Many tasks can be done in our own strength but spiritual work isn’t among them. Spiritual work requires spiritual strength. Only God can give us that strength. Selwyn Hughes, the great devotional writer, wrote, “The Holy Spirit gives us the power not simply to imitate Christ; He imparts to us the energy by which Christ Himself lived. It’s impartation, not imitation, that makes for effective Christian living.”